Gomez, Gagner and others hit the waiver wire

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In the end, it turned out that nobody was interested enough in defenceman David Rundblad to put in a claim. The Chicago defenceman cleared waivers on Tuesday morning. 

Now though there are four new names on the waiver wire, including veteran centre Scott Gomez and former Edmonton Oiler Sam Gagner. Are any of the newest quartet of interest? 

Scott Gomez was brought in by St. Louis as an injury stopgap earlier this year. The Blues are finally starting to get healthy, though, and with fellow pivot Patrik Berglund cleared for contact the team needed to make a roster move and Gomez is it. 

Gomez has decent shot metrics, but his on-ice percentages aren’t good and over the last decade he’s proven well beyond a reasonable doubt that he’s an atrocious finisher. He had a single goal in 21 games for St. Louis. He’s also had a bad year in the faceoff circle.

The one redeeming factor for the 36-year-old is that he’s on a dirt-cheap one-year deal, which may be enough to entice some team to pick him up as an injury fill-in. At this point in his career, he’s basically a warm body, and with Connor McDavid likely back soon and four centres (plus Matt Hendricks) already on the roster there is absolutely zero reason for Edmonton to consider a claim here. 

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Sam Gagner was originally dealt to Tampa Bay for Teddy Purcell, as both teams looked to rid themselves of cap headaches. Purcell has been up-and-down but is enjoying a rebound campaign this season; he’ll certainly have value at the trade deadline and the Oilers may even want to keep him. The Lightning took Gagner on to buy him out, but quickly flipped him to Arizona while retaining some salary; the Coyotes in turn moved him to Philadelphia.

Gagner’s underlying shot metrics are quite bad, he’s still lousy on faceoffs and with only five points in 18 games he’s not scoring nearly enough. Even at a modest $3.2 million cap hit and in the final year of his deal, there’s very little appeal to putting in a claim on the 26-year-old. I wouldn’t be surprised if some team next year gave him a Cody Hodgson-type contract to try and salvage his NHL career but I would be very surprised if a team out there claimed him on waivers in the here-and-now.

From an Oilers perspective, there’s no benefit to putting in a claim. They’re also certainly better off with Purcell than they would have been hanging on to Gagner. 

Michael Sdao is a 6’4″, 229-pound defenceman who was originally a seventh-round pick of the Senators in 2009. He hasn’t played at all this season and has never appeared in an NHL game. The 26-year-old should breeze through waivers.

If the name Justin Hodgman sounds familiar, it’s probably from last fall, when he was a preseason hero for Arizona after returning from a two-year stint in the KHL. He ended up playing only five games for the Coyotes and spending most of that year in the minors. This season he’s played for the Blues’ AHL affiliate, recording six assists in 15 games. I would imagine this marks the end of the 27-year-old’s NHL ambitions and that he’ll be headed back overseas once he clears the wire. 

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Finally, some final thoughts on Rundblad: the thing to remember with players on the waiver is that as a general rule they’ve been shopped around the league first. Rundblad’s an interesting player, but he’s certainly limited and the fact that he’s not on an expiring contract is bound to make teams less interested in rolling the dice and seeing if he can come around. In Edmonton’s case specifically, the Oilers definitely need somebody who can play the point on the power play, but the team may feel it can land a better player and that in the short-term Brad Hunt is a decent stopgap and doesn’t come with the same commitment for next season. 

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

  • Morgo_82

    Gagner is a multi millionaire in his 20’s….will probably make 400 grand a year (USD) or more playing in A beautiful Swiss city….will have use of a nice apartment and car rent free, and will pay very little income tax.

    not a bad way to spend the next half dozen years… I think he’ll be okay.

  • S cottV

    Seriously?

    I am not sure what to make of that pile of derp that exploded off your keyboard.

    PC had been in negotiations about Hamonic for months. Snow wants an exchange of Top 4 Dmen. Apparently Snow was looking for Klef or Nurse in return, that would be stupid to do for Edm.

    Hamilton? It is widely known that PC offered a better package than Cgy did, Bos just decided to snub their old GM and take a lesser package.

    Think before you express your thoughts.

  • RedMan

    PC will be clearing out roster spots before the deadline. The last thing he wants is long contracts on declining assets.

    Fayne & Nikitin will be shopped and I hope its for picks that will get stock the AHL cupboards with young D.